The Legal 500

Macedonia

Share this page

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Legal market overview
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Dragan Dameski - Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska Attorneys at Law
    • Dejan Knezovic - Knezovic & Associates, Law Firm
    • Kristijan Polenak - Polenak Law Firm
    • Tatjana Popovski-Buloski - Polenak Law Firm

Economic growth decelerated in Macedonia during 2015, impacted by a combination of domestic political woes, the global economy and particularly the crisis in Greece, which is a major trading partner. A number of substantial deals still occurred – notably in infrastructure, energy and debt finance – the majority of law firms remained focused on dispute resolution and debt collection.

As one of the poorest nations in Europe, the Macedonian commercial legal market is small, with just a dozen or so law firms competing to service foreign investment into the country but the firms which do that work exhibit a high level of expertise and standard of service. Few foreign law firms are present, just Serbia-originated Karanovic & Nikolic in cooperation with local lawyers and ODI Law of Slovenia. New regulation from the Macedonian Bar Association tightened marketing rules in 2015.

Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska Attorneys at Law secured a number of enviable transactions, particularly in the banking and finance sector, where it acted as local counsel alongside international law firms. Domestic mandates included advising Accor Pannonia Hotels on its franchising of the IBIS Hotel brand, and representing Technical Textile in its €10m greenfield investment in one of Macedonia’s several technological industrial and development zones. Name partners Ivan Debarliev, Dragan Dameski and Emilija Kelesoska Sholjakovska are all recommended.

Polenak Law Firm is widely considered to be a market leader: it is a regular on headline transactions and is the preferred adviser among numerous international law firms and foreign investors seeking Macedonian counsel. The firm’s 14 qualified lawyers are led by Tatjana Popovski-Buloski and managing partner Kristijan Polenak, who ‘understand the needs of international investors’. Recent work includes advising a US gold trading company on a $175m gold purchase and the subsequent sale to a Canadian buyer to finance a copper and gold project in Macedonia. The firm also acted for an international financial institution during its equity sale of a Macedonian bank.

Cakmakova Advocates has an established track record of market-leading instructions in commercial and private legal services. Clients include international banks and telecoms service providers, foreign and domestic energy companies and a wide range of multinational manufacturers. The well-resourced team is led by high-profile individual Biljana Cakmakova, supported by Olivera Grozdanovska and Vesna Gavriloska.

Bucking the trend in a challenging market, Georgi Dimitrov Attorneys is acting for foreign investors on two significant acquisitions. It is also advising on the construction of transport infrastructure and was recently victorious in a long-running international arbitration. A key strength of the firm is projects work, particularly within the mining and energy sectors. Name partner Georgi Dimitrov, Katarina Ginoska and Nadica Dimovska are the key figures.

Dejan Knezovic at Law Firm Knezovic & Associates is widely respected in the market, earning key instructions and clients as a result. The firm is acting for several banks regarding the financing of airport operator TAV Macedonia’s renovation and upgrade of Skopje Airport. It also represents the local entities of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling and Heineken and their joint venture, Pivara Skopje. Other clients include Société Générale and its local subsidiary, Ohridska Bank.

Advokatska kancelarija Pepeljugoski fields a large team and has a satellite office in Pristina, Kosovo. The firm is led by name partner Valentin Pepeljugoski and Aleksandar Trajkovski, who are managing and senior partner respectively. Although the firm provides full-service support, it has standout expertise in intellectual property, as well as notable experience in TMT and energy work. It attracts high-calibre clients such as Microsoft, which the firm advises on IP protection; Makedonski Telekom, which it assisted with corporate matters; and shopping mall Ramstore Macedonia, for which it acted on property law and other issues.

Lawyers Antevski’ Western European offices in Munich, Vienna and Liechtenstein help to attract a client list of international companies requiring Macedonian representation, particularly for litigation and debt recovery. It acted for Germany’s Betty Barclay in a €51m litigation case against Macedonia’s clothing manufacturer SAITIS. Domestic clients include manufacturer Renova, which it is advising on multiple high-value debt collection matters. Zlatko Antevski heads the six-lawyer team.

Clients of leading SEE regional firm Karanovic & Nikolic in cooperation with local lawyers appreciate the ‘professional advice’, ‘good value for money’ and the fact that ‘the best legal experts are always available when needed’. The practice locally has bulked up its resources at associate level and the team is led by experienced senior associate Leonid Ristev, overseen by Serbia-based senior partner and regional specialist Miloš Vučović. Of note are the firm’s regional specialist practice groups, which bring expertise to Macedonia and can service cross-border transactions of the highest level. The firm is working alongside the London office of DLA Piper to advise the IFO and Macedonian government on a €400m road PPP, and is assisting a Fortune 500 automotive company with its entry into the Macedonian market.

Monevski Law Firm is instructed by international law firms requiring local advice, as well as global companies and international organisations. They include T-Mobile Macedonia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, JT International, and various well-known investment banks and accountancy firms. Founding partner Valerjan Monevski heads the firm.

Demonstrating both ‘strength and capability’, ODI Law is another regional firm with offices in Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia. The firm has risen in profile in Macedonia under the leadership of ‘fully fledged professional’ Gjorgji Georgievski, who has brought international clients, connections and experience from his prior career. He recently led Macedonian advice to Russia’s largest telecoms operator, Mobile Telesystems OJSC (MTS), during its attempted acquisition of shares in Telekom Slovenia, including Macedonian subsidiaries. Other clients include airport operator TAV Macedonia and major Turkish retailer Defacto Perakende Ticaret. Ana Stojanovska is praised by clients for her knowledge and ability to quickly grasp complicated issues.

Clients at Popovski Law Office have ‘nothing but praise’ for the firm, particularly for its ‘international approach’ and ‘skilled, business-oriented, English-speaking lawyers’. These include Aleksandar Icokaev, who leads on corporate and IP matters, and Biljana Slavkovska, head of litigation. Clients include the Macedonian subsidiary of Wabtec Corp, Denmark’s Novo Nordisk and Central Co-operative Bank, Skopje.

Trpenoski Law Firm is another well-resourced firm, led by high-profile individual and arbitrator Natasha Trpenoski Trenchevska. The firm enjoys a good reputation across all key areas of corporate and commercial law, attracting heavyweight clients such as international and local banks and financial institutions, telecoms operators and a variety of manufacturers. Dejvi Davidovski heads the corporate practice at the firm.

GC Powerlist -
Europe

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars 2016

    Managaing Intellectual property has come up with its  IP Stars  2016  guide on Patents and Trademarks & Copyright and has recozined its senior practitioners under the following categories:
  • Anand and Anand recognized in Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2016 report

    Anand and Anand has been recognized amongst the FT25 Asia Pacific Headquartered law firms in the FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2016 Report. 
  • BASCAP 25 Best Practices

    ANAND AND ANAND convened a meeting with the ICC and BASCAP officials on 17th May 2016 for assessing the BASCAP 25 Best Practices vis-a-vis the level of copyright and trademark enforcement and protection in India. The discussion panel involved representatives from leading brands and Mr. Pravin Anand who suggested inputs to the proposed document. The document will be submitted to the Indian Government ahead of the BRICS Summit in October 2016.
  • LEASED LABOR IN KAZAKHSTAN: HAS THE NEW LABOR CODE LEGALIZED IT?

    Yuliya Chumachenko, Partner, AEQUITAS Law Firm
  • Austria: Shareholder Agreements - Back to Normal?

    On 1 January 2015 the act to amend regulations for partnerships, as defined under the Austrian Civil Code (GesbR-Reformgesetz – GesbR-RG, BGBl I 83/2014), entered into force. read more...
  • Czech Republic: New developments in contract registration

    The brand new Contract Register Act came into effect on 1 July 2016 (the Act). After 1 July 2016, contracts concluded with certain subjects, such as the state (the Czech Republic), state fund, etc., need to be published in the register of contracts (the "Register").If a contract is not published in the Register within three months of its conclusion, it is considered invalid from the outset (as if the contract was never concluded). read more...
  • What businessmen should know about legislative changes with major and interested transactions?

    It is well known that before making significant managerial decisions, the general director must obtain approval from the shareholders or the board of directors. Apart from that, if a director is personally interested in entering into a transaction, approval is also required to proceed with the transaction. In the absence of such an approval, the transaction can be challenged and, in certain circumstances, invalidated. In order to minimize such risks and to eliminate legal uncertainty for the parties to the transaction, the rules governing major transactions and interested transactions must be sufficiently clear. Previously, however, the application of these rules was associated with a large number of controversial legal issues, which were finally solved as a result of the legislative amendments, which will enter into force on January 1, 2017. According to the new amendments, the distinction between major and non-major transactions has been delineated more clearly, parties have been allowed more flexibility in relation to approving transactions, the burdensome obligation to obtain prior approval of interested transactions has been abrogated, and finally the procedure for challenging transactions in question has been made much more complex. Overall, the changes should have a positive influence on business, as they contribute to the establishment of firm legal certainty in this area of the law. 
  • Are you up to date on important Polish labour law matters?

    As an employer it is vital that you are informed on new labour law related issues that could negatively affect your organisation. In this legal insights we explore a number of these important legal points. read more...
  • A Maltese Solution for Swiss Asset Managers

    Until very recently the Swiss asset management industry relied exclusively on self-regulation and was allowed to operate and develop somewhat independently from European regulation. It is now confronted with major regulatory changes which will align Swiss laws and regulation with AIFMD and MIFID. Gone are the days where Swiss asset managers could be independent and unregulated. Swiss asset managers will now be subject to EU-like forms of authorisations and prudential supervision which will have a transformative impact on the Swiss asset management industry and bring additional costs, most notably compliance and operational costs, which will invariably adversely affect smaller independent asset managers.
  • INDIAN E-COMMERCE (B2C) MARKET CAN GROW FASTEST TO CROSS $100 BILLION BY 2020!

    BY: Sidharth Goyal & Anita Aswal

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to